Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Menendez jury says it's deadlocked; judge says to keep going

Menendez jury says it's deadlocked; judge says to keep going

The judge ordered them to go home, "clear their heads" and continue deliberating Tuesday morning.

On the afternoon of Monday, November 13th, the jurors sent the judge a note saying that they "can't reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges".

Prosecutors have accused Menendez in a bribery scheme in which he received gifts from a Florida ophthalmologist in exchange for political favors. "Forget about what happened last week".

"You are starting fresh", Judge William Walls told the jury.

The trial was the first in 36 years to involve a sitting senator on federal bribery charges, the most serious of which against him carried a 20-year maximum prison sentence. The excused juror subsequently spoke to the press and said she believes the panel will end in a hung jury.

"What I saw, the government didn't give me enough".

Menendez's defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, urged Walls to engage in a more expansive inquiry regarding reports Arroyo-Maultsby wanted to contact the judge about deliberations last week and felt certain jurors were trying to "run out the clock" on her, knowing she had to leave on a pre-scheduled vacation. On Monday, an alternate was brought in to replace her. Some of the jurors were dismissive of her opinion because they knew she would not be able to continue deliberations after Thursday, she said. The deliberations were supposed to start from scratch once the alternate juror was seated, but instead, the jury seemed to zoom back into the logjam described by Arroyo-Maultsby.

Although jurors are supposed to tune out of media coverage related to the Menendez trial, some jurors told Walls on Monday that they had heard Arroyo-Maultsby's remarks.

"That's life that they ran the clock out on her", Walls told attorneys, unpersuaded that any harm was done.

Should Walls formally declare a mistrial, former federal prosecutors predict that the Justice Department would ultimately refile the charges. The prosecutors at that time would choose whether to retry the case.

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